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How Much Should Your Baby Be Sleeping?

Everyone loves a sleeping baby, yet so many of us Mum’s just don’t have one which does! Then just when you think you’ve got your little one’s sleep pattern sorted and life is manageable, their sleep cycles change and you are back to the beginning all over again!

Sometimes it is hard to know if your baby is getting enough sleep, especially when their sleep patterns change, which is why we’ve put together this handy baby sleep guide for you.


Baby Sleep Patterns Guide

As your baby grows, their sleep patterns, settling preferences and the amount of awake or playtime hours do too. Each baby will be different, but here is a general guide to common sleep patterns:


Age Awake or Playtime Sleep or Nap Time Sleeps Per Day
Newborn – 6 weeks 1 hour 2-3 hours 5-6 per 24 hours
6 weeks – 3 months 1-1.5 hours 2.5-3 hours 4-5 per 24 hours
3 months – 4.5 months 1.5-2 hours 2 – 2.5 hours 3 day sleeps
4.5 months - 6 months 2-2.5 hours 2-2.5 hours 2-3 day sleeps
6 months - 9 months 2.5-3 hours 1.5-2 hour day sleeps 2-3 day sleeps
9 months – 12 months 3-4 hours 1-2 hour day sleeps 2 day sleeps

Toddler and preschooler sleep pattern guide

Toddlers and pre-schoolers are active wee people and as such, are sometimes reluctant to go to sleep at all. Yet sleep they must and here’s a general guide to their common sleeping patterns:

Age Total Sleep 24 hours Nightime Sleep Naps
12-18 months 13-14 hours 11-12 hours 2-3 hours, 1-2 naps
18-24 months 13-14 hours 11 hours 2 hours, 1 nap
2-3 years 12-14 hours 10-11 hours 1-2 hours, 1 nap
3-5 years 11-13 hours 10-13 hours 0-1 hour


It is so much easier to settle a tired baby or toddler before they become over tired. Then again, it’s all well and good knowing that your baby requires a certain amount of sleep, but how do you know when they actually need to go to bed?

As a new Mum, it can be really tricky spotting some of these tired signs, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. Here are some common tired cues to look for:

  • Clenched fists
  • Frowning eyebrows
  • Yawning
  • Jerky or tense movements
  • Easily startled
  • Staring into space
  • Eye rubbing
  • Grizzling
  • Pulling at their ears
  • Wanting constant attention


Picture: Miracle Blanket Easy Swaddle

Remember, when it comes to sleep, every child is different. Plenty of us Mums have a child who does not fit the norm for their age appropriate sleep.

So if your baby or toddler doesn’t, don’t stress! If you are still concerned, a chat with your Midwife, Plunket Nurse or Baby Sleep Consultant is a good way to help put your mind at ease.

Join up to our Sleepytot VIP and Support group now to be among other supportive mums juggling family life!

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